YOUR GUIDE TO CRUISING 20
AROUND THE WORLD IN NINE NOODLES 6
Let’s get wanderlost. More than 200 reasons to travel.
plus OUR FAVOURITE PLACES FOR FAMILIES 12 OUR TOP THINGS TO DO IN EUROPE
ON-BOARD A LUXURY TRAIN 16
THAILAND’S BEST KEPT SECRET 27
EXPLORING THE AMERICAS 32
IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS
Contents FIRST THINGS FIRST 4 Stuff we love. 5 The best festivals. 6 Use your noodle(s). 8 On our ‘Travel-dar’ now.
FAR FLUNG, NOT FAR FETCHED 11 First-time guide to Vietnam. 12 Perfect-fit ideas for families. 14 The ultimate European to-do list. 16 On track for train travel. 18 Japan for the rugby fan. EXPLORING NEW HORIZONS 21 Why we love Caribbean cruising. 22 Cruising 101 | Your questions answered. 24 What to know about river cruising. WHERE TO GO NEXT 27 Thailand’s best kept secret. 28 Travel diary | Aussie events calendar. 30 Island hopping as a family. 32 Exploring the Americas. 34 Five of the best Canadian experiences. 36 Guided holidays, traveller’s best friend.
See the USA the Kiwi way Flying direct to LA, San Francisco, Houston & Chicago* with connections available from all around New Zealand
END NOTES 38 My favourite travel story.
HOUSE OF TRAVEL CONTRIBUTORS Editorial Director ANNA SARJEANT Designer BETH ALLISON Australia JULIA BOZICH South Pacific SHARMA SMITH North America GABRIELLE BROWN Asia JON GWIN UK & Europe ANGELA WEBBER South America KATIE SEARLE Touring JOHN CROUCH Adventure SHELLEY ADKINS Cruise JEFF LECKEY Contributors JASON TODD, ANNIE MELLOR,
LORRAINE VAN VEEN, TANYA AIKEN
TERMS AND CONDITIONS GENERAL CONDITIONS: Prices are correct as at 21 August 2018 – costs may vary due to subsequent tax surcharge increases, currency exchange rates and/ or unforeseen circumstances. For travel commenced and completed as specified. Min/max stays apply. Prices are per person in NZ dollars subject to availability at time of booking, based on payment by cash or cheque. Booking deposits and payment requirements may apply. Credit card fees may apply. Some closeouts apply. For travel outside the dates specified, ask your local House of Travel consultant. Flights are additional unless specified otherwise. Ask us about the best available flights to your chosen destination. Further terms and conditions may apply. See www.houseoftravel.co.nz/inspire for more details.
*From 30 November 2018
ST U F F W E LOV E
Fingers on the travel pulse.
10 of the best festivals.
Schedule a little fun and festivity into your 2019 travel plans.
PENIDA ISLAND, INDONESIA
Rio de Janeiro carnival
Upside down “ice cream cone” houses Alberobello, Puglia
Alberobello is home to over 1000 traditional Trulli (unique dry-stone huts with conical roofs). The Rione Monti quarter is the most trullisaturated area, and for those after a niche hotel, staying in one of these cosy little abodes is an easy request.
Still relatively untouched, Bali’s Penida Island is just 25-minutes by boat from Sanur. A sliver of pristineness, you can stay in thatched treehouses next to white sand beaches, sip on fresh, three-dollar coconuts and venture to lush waterfalls. Ask in-store for details.
Brazil. 2-9 March. Some of Rio’s famed street parties start at 7 am, so pack your stamina. The Sambadrome is where the dancers prance, while in the streets, revellers wear costumes.
Follow in the footsteps of the Incas.
Billion dollar art museums in the desert. Louvre Abu Dhabi only opened its doors in November 2017, but has already bagged Leonardo da Vinci’s US$450 million “Salvator Mundi”, viewable from September 2018. Even if art’s not your thing, the building itself — in all its glittering glass glory — is quite the masterpiece.
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Baia, Gulf of Naples The city of Baia was the biggest party town in the Roman empire, but it was not to last and the city sank below the Tyrrhenian Sea. Today, glass bottomed boats and divers explore Baia’s sunken villas, marbled statues and Roman bath houses.
Frozen in time
For a Machu Picchu alternative, look to the lesser-known Lares Trek. A Peruvian beauty blessed with Inca fortresses and breath-taking scenery, it covers 33km in three days. High-altitude hiking with few others, better yet, no permits are required.
TH E B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
Pompeii, Campania Mount Vesuvius blew its volcanic lid in 79AD, obliterating Pompeii. To see what the city used to look like, join a tour and pop on a 3D virtual reality headset — such is the magic of modern technology.
Portugal. June. The celebration of St. Anthony, also known as the Lisbon Sardine Festival, fills the streets with garlands, barbecues and pop-up bars. Visitors wander the laneways drinking beer, eating sardines and partying with the locals.
Holi Festival of Colours India. 20-21 March. Join residents in throwing a rainbow of coloured flour across their suburbs. Come spring, Holi is the Hindu celebration of colour, friendship and love, with ‘colour bombs’ bought in advance.
Coachella Music & Arts Festival
NE X T STO P, P E RU.
Lisbon Sardine Festival
California, USA. 12-14 and 19-21 April. The holy grail of music festivals, 2019 marks the event’s 20-year anniversary. 40˚C heat, dry desert and world-class sets pull in the A-list celebrities.
Scoppio del carro (Burning of the cart), Italy. 21 April. On Easter Sunday a nine metre antique cart is hauled to Florence’s Piazza del Duomo. Heaved by white oxen and accompanied by musicians and locals dressed in 15th century costume. An enormous firework display ensues and the bells of Giotto’s campanile ring out.
The International Isle of Man TT races UK. 25 May-7 June. Dubbed one of the world’s most exciting racing events, every May motorcyclists navigate the Isle of Man’s tiny roads, reaching hairraising speeds of 331kmph.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Tennessee, USA. June. An annual four-day music festival with 150 performances across more than 10 stages.
Oberammergau Passion Play Germany. May through October 2020. Only occurring in the last year of each decade, this open-air production has been performed by the inhabitants of Oberammergau village since 1634. It’s over five hours long but everyone gets a dinner break at 5pm.
Nevada, USA. 26 August-3 September. The strict novendors policy means no money changes hands and everything must be shared or given away. Exploring community and selfexpression, the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy (“the Man”) draws huge crowds, and plenty of personalities. ■
By SARA BALDWIN, House of Travel Orewa
“Queensland’s most stylish beach Iceland. June. Making the most town, Noosa, hosts of a sun that never sets, and the annual Noosa Food and Wine home to the world’s first Festival from 16-19 live performance inside a May. From beach glacier, other venues include barbies to street 5200 year old lava tunnels markets, join dieand geothermal pools. hard foodies from all over for a three-day culinary event. You can even dine in seaHOU S E O F T RAVEL | I NS P I RE 5 fronting tipis.”
Around the world in nine noodles.
Slurp, twirl, scoop or sip — Nine very good reasons to explore these incredible countries.
Shoyu ramen, Japan
Tallarines verdes, Argentina
With a soy sauce based broth, these noodles are pure Asian comfort food.
So it looks like a bi-product from The Ghostbusters, but it tastes heavenly.
This festive noodle pudding is topped with ginger, golden raisins and cashews.
The widest, most robust ribbons of pasta in the repertoire.
These simple soft egg noodles usually sit beneath a saucy meat dish.
The kingpins of pasta, Italians love their trenette: narrow, flat and similar to linguine.
DREAM SPOT S O N E VA K I R I R E S O RT, KO H KO O D, T H A I L A N D
Chicken noodle soup, USA
Pad Thai, Thailand
Ash reshteh, Azerbaijan
Who doesn’t love chicken noodle soup? Even better from an all-American diner.
Pad Thai is awful. Said no one ever. The million ingredients all work as one.
A hearty stomach-filler packed with thin noodles, beans and herbs.
Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit hot.co.nz and we’ll build a gastronomical getaway that’s just to your taste.
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THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
“Resorts around the world like to be unique, and of all the ways wait staff can arrive at your table — by foot, roller blade, or even canoe, Soneva Kiri, a luxury Thai resort in Ko Kood, trumps the lot. Here, the waiters dangle in via zipline, while diners are docked between the trees and suspended in custom-made tree pods nine metres in the air. With views overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, it’s a beautiful and exhilarating experience.” | JON GWIN, House of Travel
Already pondering your order? Pop in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to start planning your stay.
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AROUND THE WORLD / TO DO LIST
7 | J A PA N The Rugby World Cup 2019. Need we say more? If Japan wasn’t already on your bucket-list, it will be with a tournament tossed in too.
6 | S P E C TAC U L A R S PA I N We don’t know if it’s the churros, chorizo, or impossibly good looking cities, but more and more Kiwis are flooding to Spain. We suspect it’s all three, along with the lure of an Andalusian villa.
Trending destinations to put on your travel-dar. *
Read how to make the most of your experience on page 18.
For more must-visit Europe, see page 14.
* T R AV E L - DA R . \ t r a v ( ė ) l d a \ noun. 1. Travel radar. A traveller’s capacity for intuitive perception; a special sensitivity for factors, trends and cool happenings across the world. (pl) travel-dars
8 | P U G L I A , I TA LY We rate Puglia as Europe’s next must-visit region. Located in the heel of Italy’s boot, the Mediterranean coastline and sun-soaked architecture will leave you oohing and ahhing.
4 | C H I C AG O From November, Air New Zealand will fly direct to Chicago. If you like New York, you’ll love this slick city.
1 | C L E A R LY C A N A DA Take a deep breath and dangle over Canada’s dramatic glacial valleys. Jasper National Park’s Glacier Skywalk is elevated a stomach-churning 30 metres off the hillside in Icefields Parkway. Definitely one for your bucket-list.
Read more of Italy’s secrets on page 4.
Read why on page 32.
9 | I G LO O S L E E P O U T I N S C A N D I N AV I A Looking for something unique to boast about? How about an igloo sleepout in Scandinavia? Glass igloos offer premium amenities, plenty of heating and dreamy views of a starlit sky.
For more Canadian gems, head to page 34.
2 | M O LO K A‘ I , H AWA I ‘ I A time capsule of old Hawai‘i, Moloka‘i fiercely preserves its ancestral roots. It’s also where you can send yourself a coconut. Ho‘olehua’s US Post Office is home to ‘Post a Nut’. Turn up (with your coconut), slap on a stamp and off it goes.
5 | THE CARIBBEAN It’s not that we’re short of tropical beaches in the Southern Hemisphere, but the Caribbean also brings Jamaican coffee, good rum, and feel-good music. We recommend cruising it.
Our take on page 21.
3 | MAKE FRIENDS WITH MEXICO Mexico makes a perfect extension to your American holiday. The Baja California peninsula is the birthplace of the Margarita, a playground of aquatic pursuits and home to La Paz’s beautiful beaches.
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10 | SOUTH AMERICA Make Buenos Aires your gateway to South America’s platter of must-see places, such as ranch stays in Uruguay and Bolivia’s hotel made entirely of salt. If you’re not sure where to go first, try page 32.
TH E B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
11 | SOUTH AFRICA If South Africa’s on your hit-list and you’re looking for freedom without being part of a group, consider a selfdrive. You won’t need to switch sides as they also drive on the left but you will need a full New Zealand Driver’s License.
10 | BALI If you’ve ever dreamt of holidaying like a rockstar, book a trip to Bali. The island’s packed with five-star resorts, all wanting to pamper you like Mick Jagger, at Joe Bloggs’ prices. Fly direct with both Emirates and Air New Zealand (seasonally) in approx. 9 hours.
12 | AUSTRALIAN EPIC Home to opera, fashion week, food festivals and globallyreaching sports’ tournaments, Australia’s annual calendar is jam-packed with great reasons to visit. Jump to page 28 for our definitive list of must-attend events.
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, g n u fl . d Far e h c t e f r a f not
See the best of Vietnam. If you want to gorge on all of Vietnam, we recommend a minimum of 10 days, but three weeks is preferable.
rld the wo e k a m ps an ravel ap t sn’t me d e n o a d s t t i h t g y , bu Fast fli ive. Sta essible t c i c s i a u e e. q r o ventur d ou’re in ever-m a y s e s v e a l g un ays h anythin d you will alw s an curiou
K N OW B E F O R E YO U G O
If you’re shy on time.
Read this before you even think about your first bowl of Pho.
If you’re shy on time, we’d suggest seven days in either just the north or just the south. You could fly into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, or start centrally (from Da Nang) and work your way up or down via Hoi An.
TO TRAVEL NORTH-SOUTH, OR SOUTH-NORTH?
Either way works, but if you want to ease your way into Vietnam, start in Hanoi: the north is less chaotic than the culture-explosion that is Ho Chi Minh City. Flight time. Fly direct from Auckland to Ho Chi Minh City in 11.5 hours with Air New Zealand (seasonal). Non-direct routes are also available. Visas. All New Zealand citizens need a visa prior to arrival. The easiest option is to talk to your House of Travel consultant. They will ensure your visa is obtained well in advance, without hiccups.
Editor’s Note. Whatever you do, eat noodles.
With such dense traffic, crossing the road is daunting. Start by following the locals, but hang back because they don’t always get it right. Go slow and with caution.
Passport. The most important thing to remember is your passport expiry date. For entry, it must be valid for six months after your arrival in Vietnam. Currency. Dong is Vietnam’s currency. The extra zeros in all that Dong can be very confusing and 10,000 Dong looks a lot like 100,000 Dong. Triplecheck before handing over your notes.
CATA L A N PY R E N E E S, S PA I N
Water. Unless you want to play Russian roulette with your intestinal tract, steer clear of the tap water. Even to brush your teeth, we recommend filtered.
FAMILY ADVENTURES AT ANY AGE | 12
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INCREDIBLE EUROPE | 14
TH E B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
ALL ABOARD TRAIN JOURNEYS | 16
Get adventurous and branch out. Cambodia to your left, Thailand a little further west and Laos looking down from atop. It’s easy to see all four countries in one trip — ask your consultant about tours and itineraries.
By STEVE LAWSON, House of Travel Jenny Nilsson
“Trains are reliable throughout Vietnam, but the Reunification Express train, which chugs between the north and south, is a real highlight. Slow but intrepid, if you have time to amble, the views are incredible.”
Weather differs by region.
Ha Long Bay
Top north. December and January are bitterly cold. North. May to October is hot and humid with high rainfall. November to April is cool and dry. Central regions. Experience hot, dry weather between January and August (lovely mid-30°Cs) while heavy rainfall can occur September to November.
South. Dry and hot from November to April, and warm but wet from May to October.
Ho Chi Minh City
HOT TIP By AMY VEIT, House of Travel Whangarei
“In a new place, I always use Google maps offline by searching the area I need when I have data, and then typing “ok maps” into the search bar. Google will then give you the option to click ‘download’. Do that and you have a map for your new destination whenever you need it, regardless of whether you have WiFi.”
CHEAT SHEET / TRAVELS WITH KIDS
Family adventures at any age. Your kids probably like to play Marco Polo. Now they can become him.
FIND ME AN EASY BEACH BREAK.
A flawless family holiday. 1 | Flights. Ask us which airlines offer the best boredom-busting kids’ packs and how to request bassinet space.
E A S Y I S L A N D S | Samoa
YO U N G
ages 0-5 years
2 | In-flight necessities. Take toys, crayons and rubbish bags. Lollies for take-off and landing will equalise ears.
3 | Kids’ clubs. Many resorts have complimentary kids’ clubs. Check what they offer and what activities cost extra.
4 | Avoid tiredness. Plan a
travellers ages 6-10 years
morning of sightseeing and an afternoon of relaxing. Resorts with pools and child-friendly fun are ideal.
5 | Invite another family. Consider a villa with friends and kids a similar age to your own, but double check they all get along!
6 | Set holiday goals. Set each
WE’RE UP FOR AN ADVENTURE.
P H U K E T W I L D L I F E | Thailand
Parents rejoice, choose an NZ coastal cruise and you eliminate international airports. Depart from Auckland, unpack once and enjoy ease, convenience, and best of all, dedicated kids’ clubs.
At Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insect World, an outdoor tropical garden allows the butterflies to fly freely, while children learn how caterpillars transform into butterflies.
H A W A I ‘ I S N O R K E L L I N G | USA
GREAT BARRIER SLEEPING
W E L S H D E S C E N T S | Wales
Accessible from Waikiki via round-trip shuttles, O‘ahu’s Hanauma Bay is formed from an old volcanic crater. With calm, shallow water, it also boasts the highest fish population on the island.
Sleep under the stars in the Great Barrier Reef. Spend two days and one night on a floating pontoon, enjoying all the fun of the reef, before sleeping in a swag (no-frills tents for one) under a night’s sky.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns details the history of slate quarrying, with guests descending over 150m into the deep hollows of a disused grotto. Also home to mountain biking, zip lining and underground trampolines.
SAVE THE ORANGUTANS
Unwind with the tots in tow. Samoa’s just a four-hour flight from Auckland and within five minutes of the airport, you can find yourself with toes in the sand at one of our favourite resorts.
with tweens ages 11-13 years
other’s for fun. Ideas include getting a PADI dive certificate, or starting a holiday blog.
SOMETHING EDUCATIONAL, PLEASE.
Hoi An’s riverside setting on lantern lit water is also beachy. Stay in a villa and divide your time between the sand, the pretty town centre and Central Market, which sells the best street food.
Croatia’s Dalmatian coastline is pure blue water and golden shoreline. Charter a skippered boat and spend your days anchoring in quiet bays and exploring secluded beaches.
Visit the orangutans of Malaysia in their natural habitat. Some venues even offer feeding programmes, providing an additional opportunity to observe these amazing creatures.
T R O P I C A L W O W S | Vanuatu
U S R O A D I E S | USA
E C O G L A M P I N G | Cambodia
Vanuatu’s largest island, Espiritu Santo, is full of wow-spots: impossibly blue water at Nanda Blue Hole - big kids love the swing! And Champagne Beach, so called because it fizzes like Veuve at low tide.
Show us your adventurous spirit and we’ll show you the US highway. The home of iconic road trips, such as Las Vegas desert drives and one of our favourites, which covers Seattle to Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Cambodia’s first floating eco-lodge flanks unspoilt forest. Luxurious water-sitting tents feature WiFi, but you won’t need it. Not with so much wildlife, trekking, kayaking and swimming on the doorstep.
7 | Ready-made friends. To appease teenagers, try going to destinations with other guests their own age.
8 | The ‘kids decide’ day. Younger members get to decide what the family does for one day of the holiday.
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YO U N G
ages 14-17 years
THE B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
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MUST LIST / UK & EUROPE
Irresistible experiences. Your definitive to-do list for Europe.
1 | GR EEK ISL A N D HOPPI NG. Azure waters met by angel sand, barrels of feta and tavernas serving Ouzo. Greece is undeniably idyllic. More-so when hopping between islands via ferry. There are multiple islets, but Mykonos is most likely the head-turner you dream about, with sugar-cube buildings and bright blue doors. Santorini’s defined by its cliff-cascading position and cobalt domed roofs, while the islands of Chios and Samos are a little more sedate, famed for tiled villages and sweet Muscat wine. Ask about our 12 island hopping passes, or the more versatile FlexiPass.
Far removed from flashy resort towns, the Great British seaside is beautifully quaint. Coastal counties such as Devonshire and Cornwall are framed by placid harbours and small stone cottages built into cliffside. Burgh Island, a wild droplet of land reached only by foot or sea-tractor, remains in a charming Agatha Christie-style time warp. While Devon’s wee village of Thurlestone, offers a somewhat wistful summer holiday: lazy pub lunches, beach cove swims and rock pooling. Polished off with teashop scones, complete with clotted cream and jam.
FOR THE CURIOUS
Skip the line attractions
4 | WALKING AND COOKING IN TUSCANY OR UMBRIA.
If you have a passion for cooking and love the idea of rambling through beautiful Italian countryside, enjoy a ten-day guided walk through Tuscany or Umbria. Meandering from one gem township to another, and staying in farmhouses, there are three cooking classes en route, with local market stops thrown in too.
5 | Paella making in Barcelona.
2 | THE LOIRE’S SELF -GUIDED CYC L I N G TO U R S .
Get a taste for both the Loire’s famed scenery and elegant flavours. Provided with detailed route directions and covering up to 58 km per day, pedal your way from fortified villages to cave dwellings, absorbing ancient stories — and wine varietals — which saturate this region. From Amboise, Leonardo Da Vinci’s final home, to Fontevraud’s royal abbey, history is as commonplace as the grand châteaux. You have the freedom to start your journey any day of the week, with others, or riding solo. Hire a regular bike or request an electric one.
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3 | The British seaside.
TH E B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
Return from Spain with the know-how to whip up a mean Paella. There are cooking schools with trips to La Boqueria market (Barcelona’s most famous) before you roll up your sleeves and learn how to make tapas. And then there are small group cooking classes in outdoor kitchens, or the chef’s own apartment. Discover recipes handed down through generations, and classes delivered with complimentary sangria. ■
Craving croissants? Go straight to the source. Visit your local House of Travel store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz and we’ll get you there.
Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery has huge queues, but skip them by walking to the Archaeology Museum and buying a combined ticket for both. Instead of waiting in the Monastery queue, simply take the middle line and they let you straight in.
Michelin dining Eat at one of José Avillez’ many restaurants. As Portugal’s most celebrated chef, there are an assortment of restaurants across Lisbon and Porto, but for something fancy try his two Michelin Star, Belcanto. Book well in advance because there are only ten tables.
Enchanting Algarve Small, simple restaurants, endless coastline and 3000 hours of sunshine. The Algarve is the jewel in Portugal’s already glistening crown. Pleasantly saturated in golden beach, vineyards and over 40 golf courses, no one can resist its allure.
Traditional music Fado music can be heard wafting through the narrow lanes of Portugal’s old towns. Mostly telling of heartbreak, there’s no other style like it in the world. Experience a Fado music night and drench your ears in history.
Get on-board for a train journey.
Ever wondered what luxury train travel is like? We sought two perspectives from two very different passengers on Canada’s prestigious Rocky Mountaineer:
House of Travel’s JASON TODD spent three days travelling from Vancouver to Banff. Here he details the on-board experience.
By JOHN CROUCH, House of Travel Product
Because you also expect good food, Rocky Mountaineer Chef JEAN PIERRE GUERIN shares his culinary insight.
All aboard. The atmosphere at the Rocky
Bringing the flavours of Canada onboard. We think showcasing Canada’s culi-
Mountaineer Station is cheery and friendly; you can tell everyone’s excited for an adventure. There’s a fantastic pianist playing while staff hand out welcome drinks. Boarding begins at 7.15am, bagpipes play and passengers are directed to their carriages.
nary merits is as important to the journey as the scenery. From Alberta short ribs to white tuna plucked from British Columbia water, food is fresh and local. Where does it go? This legendary train journey starts in Beijing, China, travels through Mongolia and finishes in Moscow, Russia.
Dining between classes. In SilverLeaf
These aren’t just any old seats. You don’t sleep on-board the train but in hotels. However, in GoldLeaf Service, you have reclining seats, with lazyboy-style foot rests, plenty of space and heated seat options.
Trans Mongolian train journey.
GoldLeaf Service glass-domed windows allow for encircling views: up, down and around.
Superior train views. The GoldLeaf Service domes are elevated and provide spectacular views. We were lucky to have a stunning sunny day to watch Vancouver turn into a scenic trail following the river bends.
Service there’s a choice of two items, served via a rolling table at your seat. The chef — and incredibly there’s only one — prepares individual dishes for every diner. GoldLeaf Service guests use the dining car and order from a daily-changing menu.
Journey highlights. One of my favourite
Satisfying every palette. Every dietary condition is accommodated. Due to demand, we’ve made the menu gluten free. Not that carb-lovers won’t be satisfied, we make hot rolls and fresh scones every day.
locations was the outdoor viewing platform. It’s mostly sheltered but perfect for scenic photos. We disembarked for sightseeing: There are plenty of packages that include incredible excusions in the Rocky Mountains.
Creating a fool proof menu. We always review the season’s winning dishes and guest feedback. Then we look at what’s seasonally available. Of course, being French, I insist on good wine at every mealtime. ■
T R A I N J OU R N E YS
How long does it take? Between 2-4 weeks, depending how often you get off the train and stop in the cities enroute. What are the highlights? Walking on the Great Wall of China, staying in a traditional Mongolian ger (tent) in a national park, swimming in Lake Baikal’s crystal-clear waters and exploring the Kremlin in Moscow are just a few of the unique experiences you can have. Is the train luxury or low-key? There are public trains (3 star), which both locals and tourists use. Alternatively, there are private trains (5 star) which are solely for tourists.
A F E W O F O U R FAV O U R I T E S
Where do you sleep onboard? On the train, you have a choice of 2-berth or 4-berth compartments.
When one thinks of Switzerland, the imagination conjures images of snow-capped mountains, gorges, valleys, and glaciers. Over 7.5 hours and 290km the Glacier Express showcases it all.
The Blue Train is one of the most comfortable ways to travel across South Africa. Passing views include Table Mountain, rolling vineyards and jubilant children waving from the trackside.
If you’re intrigued about Australia’s great middle, jump aboard The Ghan and venture into the very heart of long “forgotten” lands, freckled with roaming camels and Indigenous cultures.
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TH E B E ST H O LIDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
What do you do on the train?
Visit your local House of Travel store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit www.houseoftravel.co.nz and get on track for an adventure.
Sit back, relax and watch the incredible landscapes unfold – mountains, deserts, forests, grasslands and lakes.
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C H E AT S H E E T / WO R L D C U P 20 1 9 JA PA N
A splash of sake with your sport. Rugby fever is hitting Japan next year. Here are your 12 match venues, complete with what to do in-between the action.
Sapporo Dome Sapporo City
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium Kamaishi City
Tokyo Stadium Tokyo City
Hanazono Rugby Stadium Higashiōsaka City
International Stadium Yokohama Yokohama City
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Kumagaya City
Japan’s fifth-largest city is home to the Sapporo Beer Museum and Brewery: Japan’s oldest homebrew. Pop next door to Lilac Restaurant too, for all-you-can-eat lamb. You have 60-minutes to chow down.
This tsunami-hit fishing town lost over 1000 lives in 2011, but its Sanriku Fukko National Park remains a true beauty. With dramatic cliffs and wild beaches, retreat here for some peace and quiet.
Essentials include the neonbathed streets of Shinjuku, tiny drinking dens in Golden Gai and guided night canoeing on the Kyu-Naka River. Tokyo’s enchanting old-school alleyways (or yokocho) are found all over.
Dotonbori is the best district for street food, shopping, and bars. This city is also one of the few places where bunraku (traditional Japanese puppetry shows) can still be found.
Just a 20-minute train ride from central Tokyo, if you don’t fancy Yokohama’s museum dedicated to instant cup noodles, explore Landmark Tower (Japan’s second tallest building) and the Motomachi shopping street.
Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin Temple is a national treasure and an impressive structure bursting with colour. Try the no-frills snacks sold outside, such as Shoden Inari Sushi. Packed with rice, vegetables and tofu.
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Fukuroi City
City of Toyota Stadium Toyota City
Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium Fukuoka City
Kobe Misaki Stadium Kobe City
Kumamoto Stadium Kumamoto City
Oita Stadium Ōita City
Temples, temples, everywhere. But green tea also sprouts up in abundance here, so if you need refreshment (or a break from the Asahi) find a tea house and order a pot.
It makes sense to visit the Toyota Automobile Museum when you’re in the namesake city. Motor heads will marvel at the awesome collection of vintage cars. They’re not solely Toyota either.
Yatai is a dining experience unique to Fukuoka. Once all over Japan, these tiny street food carts, crammed with a maximum of seven diners are constructed (and deconstructed) nightly.
Kobe is a blessed city. Not solely for its prized Kobe Beef, but also its Nada district which is Japan’s most famous sake producing region.
Home to Kumamoto Castle — but to you and I it looks like a grand Japanese temple — this fortified safehold was quake damaged. However, repairs are underway and the grounds are well worth exploring.
Skip Ōita and escape to the nearby spa city of Beppu. Known for its onsen bathing and natural hot springs pluming mist across the city. Luxuriate in the pick n’ mix of bath styles: sand, mud and steam.
Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz to meet our team today. HOU S E O F T RAVEL |
I NS P I RE
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H OT TA K E / W H Y I LOV E T H E CA R I B B E A N
Confessions of a Caribbean cruiser. House of Travel’s cruise ace, Annie Mellor, reveals all the joys of a Caribbean cruise, her love for the islands, and why this exotic region should be on everyone’s agenda.
By ANNIE MELLOR, HOT Cruises GE T T IN G T HE R E .
Fly Auckland to Florida: the main gateway to the Caribbean with five ports to sail from.
1 | The Caribbean holds a special place in my heart because it is so very different from any other island cruising region. The combination of the slave and colonial history, the music and the dance, the soft colours and fabulous climate, make a Caribbean holiday all that you could dream of. The Caribbean people are very friendly and there is always a positive “yeah maan” response to any request.
You can cruise East Caribbean or West Caribbean, ideally in 7 days. Or you can combine both over 14-days.
2 | There’s nothing better than experiencing the Caribbean by cruise because you experience the full diversity of the Caribbean. From the Rastafarian culture to the French island of Martinique or the fascinating Panama Canal. You can enjoy pristine Virgin Gorda beach in the Virgin Islands and the vibrant life of modern-day Cuba.
Not required with an NZ passport.
C U R R E N CY. Every island will take US dollars, except Cuba, where Euros or British Pound is preferred.
3 | I love hearing the music. After a swim in the clear turquoise waters you can wander along a white sand beach in bare feet towards the sound of drums and reggae beating from a beach hut. You can dance in the morning to the Cuban full band in a relaxed bar atmosphere, or move to the disco beats at Margheritaville of Jimmy Buffet fame in Jamaica’s Montego Bay.
a little rum tasting and jewellery shopping. The day ended with a fabulous farewell dinner as we reflected on the diversity, colour and warm welcome we had received. We glided quietly at dawn into sparkling Miami, promising to return on another Caribbean cruise.
4 | I will never forget one amazing day swimming in a clear lagoon with giant manta rays who graciously massaged my back with their massive fins. After a luscious poolside lunch on-board the ship we headed to the Cayman Islands, home of approximately 150 banks, for
5 | I always like to add a Caribbean cruise to my US holiday because it is a wonderfully relaxing way to travel after a busy schedule. A cruise takes you away from the big US cities, the crowds and the hassle of packing and unpacking. You can truly relax in paradise! ■
W HE N TO GO.
Several cruise lines own private islands. Soft white sand, warm water, enormous pools and fully catered — for your cruise only.
Year-round. Hurricane season runs June – Nov. Cruises still sail but we recommend a West Caribbean itinerary because most hurricanes stir in the east. E XC U RSIO N S.
Shopping, rum tasting, Jamaican cooking classes and more.
Ready for warm sun and reggae music? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit hotcruises.co.nz today.
The Panama Canal ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD. SA N TO R I N I I S L A N D, GREECE
When you consider 20,000 workers died while constructing the Panama Canal, you can appreciate the full complexity of its purpose. Panama is mountainous, so if you want to transit from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, without circling South America, you’re going to need a series of locks. For cruisers, these passages are a highlight of any Panama Canal itinerary. On lock days, make sure you’re up early and assemble on the bow. From here you’ll get the best views of this great feat.
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10 QUESTIONS / EVERYTHING CRUISE we thought was lost reappeared before our eyes in all its glory and with all its secrets, immediately awash in fable and myth. After all these years, in the evening, as Lipari grows more and more pink, we still sit by the sea expecting to see Ulysses’ ship pass by. Salina’s an event for all of us; for my brother and me, for our wives Carla and Lina, for our many kids. We first brought them here when they were very little. The house didn’t have a roof yet, and at night we would stretch out below one large roof and stare up at the stars in the sky. In that place, still unspoiled in many respects, the mystery of nature really enthralled our little familial microcosm. On August 10th, during the Perseids (known to Italians as the night of San Lorenzo), all of us — big and small — would wish on a shooting star. That year a secret was spilled; the youngest of the children couldn’t resist and confided his wish to us. “My wish is that daddy and uncle can make their film,” he said. The film we succeded in making — after a year and despite tons of setbacks — is called “The Night of San Lorenzo.” I realize I might be waxing a touch poetic, so I should say, less fancifully, that in Salina all of us feel like we’re part of a
Why cruise, why now? It’s the fastest growing trend in the travel industry, but what is it about cruising that has so many people excited? Our award-winning cruise guru, Lorraine Van Veen, answers all your questions. 1
What happens when the ship gets to port?
A / Definitely! Prices include accommodation in your choice of cabin, buffet dining, main restaurants and entertainment. Surcharges are added for speciality restaurants (many endorsed by celebrity chefs) and certain shows. All-inclusive beverages are common on super luxury cruises, while others offer promotions and drinks’ packages. On-board credit might be available (effectively on-board spending money) and you should always ask if gratuities are included.
A / It’s a slick operation with people on hand to guide you on and off the ship, and there are organised shore excursions if you want to do them. Sometimes they are included in your fare, others you can opt to do depending on what takes your fancy. During the cruise there are destination briefings with local tips to highlight what gems you’ll discover in the upcoming ports. You can choose to do your own thing at each stop, or join one of the pre-arranged tours.
House of Travel’s Jeff Leckey has spent more time at sea than Captain Jack Sparrow. If he says Asia’s trending, you can bet your buried treasure he’s right.
8 I think I am too young to cruise.
Are cabins claustrophobic?
Would my kids enjoy it?
A / Outside
cabins ensure you always have sea views, and balcony cabins provide fresh air. Many internal cabins now have authentic virtual windows, but always address concerns with your consultant.
A / Competition amongst the cruise lines to enthral younger guests is huge, with anything from scavenger hunts and pizza parties, to ice-skating and go-karting. Some cruise ships even have water parks and rock climbing walls to keep young minds active. Even if your tot is as young as six months, there are cruises with nursery care. Tell your consultant what your kids like to do, what you need as parents, and what you enjoy doing altogether. Then they’ll find the right ship for everyone.
2 What is the on-board food like?
love the food. It seems like almost every diet and taste is catered for. From casual to fine dining, flavours are often matched to the different destinations that you are travelling through.
Why is the cruise industry booming right now? A / Financially, they’re accessible for everyone. There are cruises for the budget conscious or those wanting a grand journey over a longer timeframe. There are more inclusions than ever before, and the facilities and itineraries are extensive. The entertainment options, such as Broadway shows with New York quality showmanship, are highly desirable.
7 Am I going to get seasick? A / The modern cruise ships of today carry the most up to date stabiliser technology to ensure you get a smooth ride. To minimise the motion on-board choose a cabin on a lower level and aim for a more midship location — booking as early as possible. Ask us about cruising in calmer waters, such as cruises in Asia. You could also try a river cruise, where the motion is even less noticeable.
Ready to plan your perfect cruise holiday? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit hotcruises.co.nz today.
22 I N S P I R E | HOUSE O F TRAV E L
Trending for 2019 | Asia
Are cruises good value for money?
A / You’ll
ship with Salina and the Aeolian Islands is not based solely on our admiration and acknowledg ment of its beauty, harmony and colors; it is also based on the heartbreak that we feel when faced with the abysses of the sea, the merciless violence of its storms, the almost sacred burden of its active and dormant volcanoes. An image of life’s complex ities and ambiguities. That’s why Salina will never be just a vacation spot for us. Salina is actually two islands for us, two experiences. The first Salina – already talked about – bore the enchantment of discovering a wilderness removed from indus trial civilization. Wilderness may be an excessive word. It may smack of romanticism (deep down, Rousseau resides in all our hearts). Put plainly, living on the island back then meant rediscovering ancient ways, getting in sync with nature’s rhythms and tempos, even at its difficult aspects. It was an enchantment, on the other hand, that didn’t hide its dark side. The island’s centuries-old isolation led to poverty and abandon. The stacks of houses, the caper fields, the worn paths for herding animals: each told painful stories of emigration and good byes. Maybe that’s another reason days on the
TH E B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
A / Not at all. From zip lining to cooking classes, electric bikes, thermal spas and Champagne brunches, cruising really does suit every age.
9 When is the best time to book? A / Now! Book in advance to ensure you don’t miss out. You can make booking early all part of the fun. Lock in your cruise 12 months in advance, then spend the following 10 months fine tuning the details, such as land add-ons and enriching cultural experiences, or reservations for that speciality restaurant you are dying to try.
W H Y A S I A? Cruising in Asia is the ideal way to see multiple countries on one itinerary, without any long sea days in between. C R OW D - P L E A S E R S . The most popular cruises are 5-10 night itineraries, taking in Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong. The perfect fusion of East meets West. G O S H O RT. Shorter Asia cruises out of Singapore will often include Penang, Langkawi and Phuket, giving you a taste of three countries and three different islands to explore. G O LO N G . Longer Asia itineraries may include Bali, the Philippines and some of the remoter islands in Indonesia and Malaysia. E X P LO R E . There are exciting optional shore excursions on offer, allowing you to explore bustling cities, history, culture and many ancient temples. As well as plenty of opportunity to sample amazing food and flavours. V I S A S . Cruise lines will often take care of visas required for Vietnam and Cambodia, but wherever you’re sailing to, ask your consultant how to make the entire visa process seamless. G E T T H E R E . Talk to one of our expert cruise consultants for the latest offers on itineraries cruising through Asia. ■
10 What type of people cruise? A / It’s for those who like to see multiple destinations all in one go. Others may prefer a more leisurely pace, but you’ll still only unpack once — everybody loves that. For those who don’t want to fly, or are less mobile and need ease, there are more ships coming into Auckland than ever before. There’s also an increase in families cruising, and multi-generations seeking a holiday altogether. ■
Fo r t h e b e a c h l o v e r THAILAND & MORE
Fo r t h e c u l t u re v u l t u re JA PA N
F o r t h e e x p l o re r VIETNAM
There are a selection of 4 and 5 night cruise itineraries from Singapore which visit Phuket, Langkawi, Pulau Redang and Penang. Or try Macleod Island in Myanmar.
Experience the best Japan has to offer. From cherry blossoms in the spring, summer fireworks festivals and the amazing autumn colours of Hokkaido.
Enjoy Singapore to Hong Kong with multiple stops in Vietnam. Experience the crazy life in Saigon, amazing scenery and local Asian flavours.
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CHEAT SHEET / RIVER CRUISE 101
Is river cruising right for me? Twelve very good reasons to get on-board. 1 | Holidays without hassle. No need to drive, navigate a map, cook, clean or even make your own bed, your days are your own, to do as much or as little as you like.
2 | Unpack only once. Avoid constant unpacking and repacking. The only time you’ll be seeing your suitcase is the morning you board and the day you depart.
3 | The scenery always changes. The views change daily from your stateroom, the restaurant, the lounge, the deck…. Better yet, you’ll go to bed in one port and wake up in a brand-new one.
5 | Food, glorious food. Fresh Italian coffee with breakfast? Of course. There’s also a continental buffet and a team of chefs to whip up your eggs. Lunch is light (great if you’ve just gobbled a framboise tart from the patisserie) and often alfresco for sun-soaked refreshment. Dinners, albeit smart-casual, are elegant and a la carte. 6 | You see an awful lot. Excursions every day; the likelihood of a new port every morning; no heavy road traffic. You see a huge amount in a short timeframe. Uncover region upon region of fascinating history, while tasting gourmet food and observing the local way of life.
7 | No responsibilities. Ditch the car and don’t worry about Google Maps. Travel from A to B with ease and in comfort. Navigation is no longer your concern, but the captain’s.
4 | Suites are huge. As roomy as
a hotel room, the space is ample for two. The bathrooms are generously sized; enough to swing a cat and a couple of kittens too. Most ships have balconies or wall-to-wall panoramic windows; you’ll awaken to natural light and the river gliding past the foot of your bed.
8 | Small ships, big camaraderie. Much more petite than their ocean-cruising big brothers, passenger numbers are smaller on a river cruise. The on-board ambience feels like a community of like-minded globe-trotters.
9 | Sociable & refined. With guest numbers ranging between 130 and 170 there’s no hiding amidst a sea of faces. Dining is a particularly sociable affair and guests are encouraged to sit at a different table each evening.
10 | Everything is done for you. Unlike a self-organised holiday, no time’s wasted tracking down taxis, negotiating fares, or organising transfers. It’s already done. Feeling parched after a day of sightseeing? There will be iced drinks and cold towels on your return. In dire need of a cup of tea? Someone’s already squeezing your Dilmah.
11 | Ample free-time. Excursions are usually morning or afternoon, with a return to the ship for lunch, but there’s no pressure to join. Take some time to relax on the ship’s deck, visit the spa or go for a run in the gym. Sit and catch a few rays, or book yourself an appointment at the salon — a new do for dinner is always nice.
12 | Entertainment is low key. There are no jazz hands here. River cruise entertainment usually includes on-board lectures (destination history, WWII experts), nightly movies and the relaxing medley of a pianist. ■
Visit your local House of Travel store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit www.hotcruises.co.nz and let’s get started.
24 I N S P I R E | HOUSE O F TRAV E L
TH E B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
PAS SAU, G E R M A N Y
A F E W O F O U R FAV O U R I T E S
Amsterdam to Budapest
South of France
History has never looked quite as beautiful as it does from Amsterdam to Budapest. The old taverns tell a story while the merchant houses store secrets; gothic architecture astounds and romance prevails. Bygone residents have all left their stamp, but they also left good wine, beer and coffee.
Forge a path towards the Mediterranean, gorging on French cuisine as you glide between château and township. Feast on gooey fromage in Lyon, the gourmet capital of the world, while navigating the Rhône to the Côte d’Azur. Balmy nights and bouillabaisse await.
Up and coming
Vienna to Bucharest
Discover Russia’s countless iconic landmarks from a unique vantage point. From the grandeur of St Petersburg and Moscow, to small villages with gingerbread style houses, you can even learn the language while on-board — Удачи!! (good luck). Fortunately, the vodka should help.
For a cruise few others think about, travel from Vienna to Romania via fascinating Eastern European destinations such as Serbia, Hungary and Bulgaria. You’ll see ample fortresses and impressive castles while appreciating a beauty that lives in the shadow of Western Europe.
de s gui
THAILAND TIP SHEET
I S L A N D H O P P I N G / KO H C H A N G
e r e h . W t x e n o g o t
Thailand’s best kept secret.
Just when you thought the country had no more hidden gems ...
places, g n i t i c ex ew and ys n r e v o new wa g Disc n i g a as eng be. as well the glo s s o r c la to trave
S TO P T H E P R E S S . Off-the-beaten track travel still exists in Thailand. Koh Chang is one of Thailand’s least developed islands: a beautiful slice of land covered in rainforest, mountain peaks and untouched beaches. In fact, so rugged is the terrain, not even McDonald’s dares to brandish its golden arches. This refreshing lack of commercialism allows visitors to step back in time, to a Thailand that existed 15-years earlier. The white sand beaches straddling Koh Chang’s west coast aren’t tourist-tastic, and instead, more in tune with their local roots, and although the not-so-lonely ‘Lonely Beach’ is a populous hangout, work your way south and you’ll find coastal villages with little more than a few houses, seafood restaurants and golden sand. Pure relaxation is order of the day here. Whether you’re after shaded naps and fresh coconuts, or waterfall hikes and diving off the coastline, accessible wilderness is what Koh Chang is all about. For the full island experience, the best time to visit is between November and March. Avoid monsoon season because unlike the mainland, showery spells are more akin to torrential rainstorms. Visitors fly from Bangkok to Trat, then ferry to Koh Chang, which takes between 20-45 minutes. You’ll then need to taxi, shuttle or transfer to your resort. For those living the high-life, certain 5-star resorts transport guests from Trat via speedboat (weather dependent). For others, a basic beach hut, with shared amenities and no-frills facilities might be more your cup of tea. However you decide to experience Koh Chang, one thing is definite, you’ll be impressed by how pristine it remains. ■
By DAVE LEARY, House of Travel Havelock North GE T T IN G T HE R E .
Via Bangkok to the islands, or via other Asia gateways. Taking 12-14 hours, with transit time. STAY.
Resorts range from budget to blow out. There are wellness retreats in Koh Samui and a handful of rustic beach huts.
Kiwis can’t get enough of beach locales such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Krabi, as well as the culture-rich area of Chang Mai.
1 | W H I T E S A N D S B E A C H N I G H T M A R K E T.
The streets are fringed with pop-up stalls, and the delicious Thai street food is a no-brainer.
Around Koh Chang.
A relatively easy 10-minute hike leads to a secluded and peaceful waterfall.
2 |KAI BAE WATERFALL .
3 | L O N E L Y B E A C H . Fun and cheerful, the beach is great and everyone’s out for a good time. For relaxation, try a sea-fronting yoga class. 4 | B A N G B A O . Soak up the small local vibe of a traditional fisherman’s village. Walk the pier, unwind on the beach, eat fresh seafood and book a snorkelling trip. 5 | H A T S A I N O I B E A C H . Head to a massage hut for a Thai massage. If you’re a little pink from the sun, ask for an aloe vera massage.
26 I N S P I R E | H OUS E O F TRAV E L
EXPLORING THE AMERICAS | 32
THE B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
INCREDIBLE CANADA | 34
W HE N TO GO.
Thailand boasts year-round warm water but Monsoon season officially runs from May until October. FA MIIE S.
Many resorts in the south boast massive kids’ clubs and some even have water parks within the resort. D IN IN G OU T.
“CHANG” MEANS “ELEPHANT” — THE ISLAND IS NAMED FOR ITS SHAPE.
FAMILY ISLAND BREAKS | 30
No visas are required with a NZ passport.
Almost 70% of Koh Chang is part of Mu Ko Chang National Park. With jungle mountains, sweeping bays, coral reefs and waterfalls, you’ll want to explore.
The average cost of a basic meal is NZ$4-7, but like anywhere, can vary. Chang beer is approx. NZ$4.
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Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour West Side Story Sydney, the stage is yours.
T R AV E L D I A RY / AU ST R A L I A
It’s a date!
22 March-21 April 2019
Australia is your year-round go-to for a good time. Check out what’s in-store for late 2018 and the New Year.
SY D N E Y ’ S S PA R K L I N G H A R B O U R , in all its iconic glory, is lusted-over by the world’s most avid travellers, all hankering to tick this beauty off their bucket-list. And yet for Kiwis, it’s just a three-hour flight from Auckland. The city so many yearn to visit is on our doorstep, and every year we have the opportunity to experience Sydney in her finest light. Introducing West Side Story, the muchloved Broadway export, which come March 2019, will explode onto the Sydney Harbour in the form of Handa Opera. The very epitome of an extravaganza, Handa is a sensory overload that will take both your ears and eyes on a journey of infectious song and electric choreography. As the sun sets, spectators descend on Mrs Macquaries Point, at the tip of the Royal Botanic Gardens and settle in for a modernday Romeo and Juliet love story — with the added punch of New York sass. The stage will float above the Sydney Harbour, with music and light projecting across the water.
It is quite possibly the only time of year when the Opera House and bridge take a backseat, while still making the perfect backdrop to this very special event. Make it a night to remember by starting with dinner and drinks at Sydney’s latest dazzler, Barangaroo. Having opened in the summer of 2018, it’s just four minutes from Wynyard Station and impresses with dining venues and cocktail bars. Or for those commuting from afar, rev up the glam-factor and arrive by water taxi. Then get ready for an all-singing, all-dancing spectacle in the autumnal air, culminating in a firework display - because no one does a skyline finale better than Sydney. Taking centre-stage between 22 March and 21 April 2019 and with multiple shows throughout the month, don’t miss your chance to see one of the world’s most iconic stage shows in one of the world’s most iconic cities. West Side Story will catapult your Sydney experience from a quick hop across the Tasman to a sensational good time.
Field of Light Avenue of Honour Art Installation. For more than 41,000 New Zealand and Australian soldiers, Mt Clarence, in Western Australia’s city of Albany, was the last sight of home before they left for the Great War. Thousands of them would never return. 11 November 2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War 1 and to commemorate, international artist Bruce Munro has installed 16,000 shining light bulbs to grace Albany Heritage Park. Come nightfall, the glass spheres will glow in memory of the Anzacs who departed from here. An absolute must-see. 4 October-25 April 2019
Alice Springs Desert Festival 23 August-20 Sept 2018
The Outback is quite the experience, more so when the desert festival is in full swing. A rare opportunity to observe traditional Aboriginal communities alongside modern music and dance.
Invictus Games Sydney 20-27 Oct 2018
Show your support for wounded veterans. Sydney are hosting this powerful event of sport and rehabilitation, with both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, AKA Harry and Meghan, in attendance.
Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 27-31 March 2019
Green fingered types should make a beeline for the Southern Hemisphere’s largest garden show. Five days of home improvement, DIY and emerging designers will leave budding gardeners inspired.
28 I N S P I R E | HOUSE O F TRAV E L
Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland
15-18 Nov 2018
27 Dec-1 Jan 2019
Four extraordinary cuisinefuelled days and 45 food events across the Margaret River Region. From vineyard lunches to an impressive line-up of celebrities, including Nigella Lawson who’s hosting a tea party.
Undecided what to do for NYE? Do this. It’s so family friendly, there’s even a children’s festival within the main festival. Discover eclectic music, TED style talks, craft workshops and cheap eats.
14-27 Jan 2019
15 Feb-17 March 2019
January is the perfect time to visit Melbourne. The annual tennis tournament pulls in all the big players, while the city — in full summer swing — is buzzing with excitement.
Referred to by locals as ‘Mad March’, this 31-day event is officially known as the Fringe Festival. The diversity ranges from comedy and cabaret, to theatre, magic and circus acts.
J U LY
Byron Bay Bluesfest
18-23 April 2019
7-9 & 14-23 June 2019
30 June-4 August 2019
Melbourne International Film Festival
Stemming from Mona, Tasmania’s mid-winter festival is a provocative multi-day event. Infamous for headline grabbing art, there’s also music, light instillations, exhibitions and nude winter solstice swims.
A month of cheer in the Blue Mountains. Yulefest is midwinter Christmas hosted by all the hotels. Enjoy roaring fires, roast dinners and mulled wine. If you’re lucky, it’ll even snow.
Visit Melbourne and combine all the city’s cultural merits with its annual film festival. Falling over three weeks, dine at award-winning restaurants and then catch a movie.
Next year marks the festival’s 30th birthday. Celebrate with 100,000 other music-fiends for five days of international (and Aussie-grown) blues’ performances. It’s suitable for families so bring the gang.
TH E B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
Mercedes-Benz Fa s h i o n We e k Australia All the glamour, colour and next season’s pieces you’ll want to be seen in. Held in Sydney, it’s as much about the celebrities as the designers.
2019 dates TBD
Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and let us create a custom event package just for you.
CHEAT SHEET / EXOTIC ISLANDS WITH KIDS
LENDING A HAND in Fiji’s Coral Coast
Disconnect & reconnect with family.
T I C K- O F F T H E B U C K E T L I ST TO G E T H E R in Vanuatu
Swap the school run and long commutes for some rewarding family time by the beach. O U T R I G G E R F I J I B E AC H R E S O RT offers support to the local communities by helping with various projects, and if you’re staying there yourself, you can also roll up your sleeves and pitch in. Guests are invited to help build new facilities such as libraries and kindergartens, while meeting the school children and community leaders. As of August 2018, Outrigger guests can visit the project on Tuesdays or Thursdays for NZ$85 per adult and NZ$55 per child. This includes return transportation, lunch and a visit to the Tavuni Hill Fort on your way home. No experience is necessary, simply ask one of our HOT travel consultants to add this amazing experience to your stay.
AT ONE WITH NATURE in Hawai‘i Courageous kids are in their element on Hawai‘i Island, for this is where the manta rays hang out. Frequenting the Kona Coast, notably the bay fronting Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, come nightfall snorkellers can join a boat tour and swim amongst them. Manta rays can’t resist the juicy plankton resting on the sea’s surface, so as they feast, swimmers can get incredibly close. To maintain visibility, lights are placed in the water, and the resulting aqua-marine glow is enchanting.
W H Y S TAY I N A BEACH FALE? The perfect accommodation in Samoa.
HOT TIP By NICK MAI, House of Travel Parnell
3 0 I N S P I R E | HOUS E O F TRAV E L
Mount Yasur is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and you can — if you dare — peer into its giant, lava-spewing mouth. The Tanna Volcano Safari will take you on a wild three-day adventure across coffee plantations and highland villages, before coming to the crater’s edge and a fiery display of excitable lava bombs. As the sun sets, the night’s sky makes it even more enthralling.
“Fiji’s Paradise Cove Resort enjoys a fabulous location between the idyllic islands of Waya and Naviti. TH E B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER . Somehow, they’re even more laid-back, with several tours going there throughout the week.”
For a memorable experience, a traditional beach fale in Samoa is both idyllic and adventurous. Owned by local families, these thatched abodes have open sides and basic amenities. But there are rewards in going so rustic — such as the beach just inches from your feet, fantastic hospitality and a unique opportunity to show your kids life’s simpler pleasures.
HAVE FUN AND GIVE BACK in Samoa I N S E ’ E S E ’ E , approximately 15 minutes from Apia, there’s a natural aquatic playground fondly named the Papase’ea Sliding Rock: a series of waterfalls that you can slide down, landing with a satisfying plop into the lagoon below. It costs roughly 10 tala (NZ$5.50) per person, with all money going to the Women’s Association. These ladies run the show, and also take care of your belongings while you play. The money is used to rebuild the community, so it’s an all-round feel good event. You should also try the To Sua Trench, a 30-metre deep lagoon boasting crystal-clear water and accessed via ladder. Roughly 20 tala (NZ$12) will gain you access into this idyllic pool and surrounding gardens — perfect for a post-dip picnic. ■
Pop in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz and start exploring what these exotic islands hold for your family.
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THE SHORT LIST / EXPLORING THE AMERICAS
When planning a great American adventure, the sheer size of both continents can be overwhelming. To help, we suggest the next places you’ll love, based on old favourites.
1 | CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
2 | SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.
➝ If you like New York
➝ If you like Santa Monica
From 30 November 2018 Air New Zealand will fly direct to Chicago from Auckland. The birthplace of both legendary pizza (try the late Anthony Bourdain’s favourite pizzeria, Bonci) and the world’s first skyscraper, located on LaSalle and Adams Street. Chicago’s theatre scene rivals Broadway and Magnificent Mile delivers the ultimate shopping spree. For gangster vibes, Green Mill bar is where Al Capone socialised.
Where wide palm-lined roads meet mellow beaches, snazzy boutiques hide in the Montecito foothills and sun-soaked cafés serve stylish brunch. Santa Barbara’s most happening neighbourhood, The Funk Zone, is an arts community of sorts, while the Santa Ynez Mountains provide idyllic day hikes and gorgeous wineries. The climate allows for year-round surfing and a fruitful harvest, with farmers markets popping up daily.
By DOMINIC SUTTON, House of Travel Hamilton City
“The dream of driving a convertible across the USA is so achievable. Maybe you’d prefer a plush motorhome or a Harley? From three days in Napa Valley to a week in Texas, road trips are one of the best ways to explore.”
5 | BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
6 | LAKE TITICACA, PERU
➝ If you like Paris, France
➝ If you like South Asia
Some cities have a pulse, and Buenos Aires, like Paris, is one of them. Street side dining overflows into balmy streets, markets erupt with chatter and passionate Tango dancers prove that romance is never dead. Like Paris, the coffee’s strong and the pastries are to die for.
Man-made islands float atop Lake Titicaca, the world’s largest navigable lake. The residents here build their homes, furniture, and even the ‘land’ itself from totora reed. Get off the beaten track and join them for an overnight homestay. It’s basic, but pleasantly different.
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7 | IGUAZU FALLS
8 | QUITO, ECUADOR
➝ If you like Niagara Falls
➝ If you like Valencia, Spain
Iguazu Falls literally blows Niagara out of the water with sheer velocity. The Argentina side is arguably more impressive than Brazil’s, but it’s The Devil’s Throat which really dumbfounds. With multiple waterfalls pounding from heights of 82 metres, it’s an almighty sight. Allow two full days to explore Iguazu thoroughly.
As the world’s highest capital city, the air might be thinner at 2850 metres, but the experiences are rich. Soak up the artworks of famed sculpture, Fundación Guayasamín, or get lost in the city’s crinkled Old Town. Calle La Ronda is a narrow, cobbled street which comes alive at night.
3 | YELLOWSTONE NAT’L PARK
4 | MEMPHIS & NASHVILLE
➝ If you like Yosemite Nat’l Park
➝ If you like New Orleans
The world’s first national park, Yellowstone is an American icon. Bursting at its 2,219,789-acre seams with stunning wildlife and over 10,000 thermal wonderments, restless volcanic activity is everywhere. In fact, so large is its volcanic bowl, the first geologists couldn’t even find it. They eventually realised they were standing in it. At 56km wide and 80km long, it’s easy to see their mistake.
Sip on a glass of Jack Daniels and write a song — it’s the Nashville way. Come for the music and venture to Lower Broadway for honky tonks (loud old bars full of guaranteed good times) and live performances. Then it’s onto Memphis for musical kings and crooners. Visit Sun Studio, where Elvis recorded his first song, and his Colonial-style mansion, Graceland. Come nightfall, nurse a Bourbon at B.B King’s ‘Blues Club.’
9 | ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE
By JANINE TAYLOR, House of Travel New Plymouth
C H I CAG O, U SA
“The culinary offerings from Santiago’s little lanes are sensational — and remarkably good value. The Plaza de Aramas is the city’s focal point and a great place to start. Grab a bite, peruse an art stall and then de-cork a bottle of local Cab-Sav.”
10 | RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
➝ If you like Cappadocia, Turkey
➝ If you like Gold Coast
Both look like Mars, but Atacama feels like you’ve actually left Earth. From San Pedro de Atacama you can explore an otherworldly terrain. We love the enormous sand dunes of Death Valley and the mirror-like salt flats with spectacular reflections, while the night’s cloudless sky is a star-gazer’s fantasy.
It’s a different kind of hedonism, but Rio, much like the GC, is partying, dancing, sunshine and endless beach. ‘Jandal-culture’ reigns supreme, but you’ll still see plenty of well-dressed cariocas; the shopping is superb. Meet Christ the Redeemer, experience Copacabana beach and sip on caipirinhas.
The Americas needn’t be complicated. Tell us what you want to see and we’ll pull it all together. Pop in-store or visit houseoftravel.co.nz. HOU S E O F T RAVEL |
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DESTINATION SP OTLIGHT / CANADA
Five incredible Canadian experiences. Be wowed by Canada’s most magnificent attractions. By PIA LEMIN, House of Travel Lakers Invercargill
1 | Seeing bears at eye level. The central coast of British Columbia is arguably Canada’s foremost destination for seeing brown bears. Boasting the largest concentration of grizzlies in the country, spring brings posthibernation awakenings (along with cubs), while in autumn, watching them catch fresh river salmon is mesmerising. Cosy lodges are generally accessible by float plane and have expert guides to take you on bearwatching excursions.
“In autumn, between October and November, the polar bear migration can be observed in Churchill. Only a handful of human settlements host these beautiful creatures. Visitors can safely follow the polar route via tundra vehicles, guided walks, or by staying in local lodges.”
2 | Heli-Hiking the Cariboo Mountains. Soar over giant cloud-punching mountains before getting dropped, by helicopter, onto a meadow dancing with wildflowers. British Columbia’s Cariboos will satisfy every hiker. With jagged peaks and vast sheets of turquoise ice, you’ll manoeuvre between waterfalls and towering glaciers, on landscapes barely touched by human footsteps. Hours later and water bottles are replaced with hot toddies — at backcountry lodges, beside crackling fireplaces.
world’s best places to discover aurora borealis. The dead of winter is your window, simply because the nights stay darker for longer. Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime light show from an outdoor hot tub, beside a campfire, or from the warm cocoon of a cabin.
4 | Real live magic. Better than any magic show, the Northern Lights are Mother Nature’s most spectacular performance. The Yukon, in all its un-touched wilderness, offers one of the
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3 | Iceberg alley. Drifting without fuss down Canada’s eastern coastline, come spring, Arctic icebergs break free from their northern roots and travel southwards to Canada. Through to September, these white behemoths glide between Canada’s mainland and the island of Newfoundland, also known as Iceberg Alley. Watch them pass from the coastline, or don a kayak and give them the old ‘hoo-roo’ from the water.
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5 | Stylish accommodation. Fogo Island skims the north-east coast of Newfoundland, offering little more than craggy cliff bluffs, endless ocean and one of the most remote hotels on Earth. Positioned stylishly on the island’s rugged edges, you won’t find a more peaceful place to rest (or clear) your head. If you’re more of a glamour-puss, we also know the very best Canadian lodges. ■
Ready to head north? Come in-store, call us on 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz today.
Eat like a local | Poutine Cold weather comfort food at its finest. A dish originating in the province of Quebec, this taste of heaven is chips and cheese topped with a rich brown gravy. Basically, perfection.
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M O D E S O F T R A V E L / G U I D E D H O L I D AY S
Five fabulous food-filled days in Tokyo.
What’s your travel style?
The perfect guided gastro tour.
Forget everything you thought you knew about guided holidays because tours have transformed. A revolution of sorts, modern touring offers something to suit everyone. With so many great reasons to choose a guided holiday, here are six we go nuts for.
Incredible access, unique opportunities These sorts of offerings you can’t find without a guide.
Cosmos. Witness the 5km face of Alaska’s Mears Glacier. Trafalgar. Get on the guest list for a private dinner at the Vatican. Globus. VIP access to the Vatican Museums and the Eiffel Tower so you needn’t wait in long lines. Back-Roads. Maximum 14-18 guests, savour lunch at Rick Stein’s signature ‘The Seafood Restaurant’ in the UK. Contiki. For 18 to 35-year-olds, party on an island-hopping yacht in Turkey. Topdeck. For 18 to 39-year olds, visit a wacky abandoned jail in Estonia.
1 | I want a totally unique travel experience. TA K E O N E LO O K at the extensive itineraries offered by tour companies and the list of activities reads like a Lonely Planet best-seller. There’s always a strong emphasis on making your holiday both varied and memorable. You could go exploring abandoned jails in Estonia, or come face-to-face with the threemile stretch of Alaska’s Mears Glacier. On another route, you might stay the night in a French château, or camp out in the Thai jungle, cruise Halong Bay or take a Mafia themed walking tour around Palermo. For those who tire of the well-trampled tourist haunts, guided holidays go above and beyond to ensure you have experiences that few others can achieve, such as skip the line privileges at the Vatican’s papal conclave, VIP entry to the Eiffel Tower and visits to the very estate where The Sound of Music was filmed. You’ll have a holiday which focuses on local insight, whether that’s dining in a small Italian trattoria or sipping at bouillabaisse made by the descendants of French nobility — in their 17th-century farmhouse no less. Your experience can be as luxe or as lowkey as you wish, from wine tasting in the bellows of a French cave, to lunch at Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’. Basically, if you can imagine it, then you can probably do it.
Pantheon, Rome, Italy.
Brought to you by two Kiwi women (and the former owners of Astoria Café in Wellington), eat your way around Tokyo with a five-day foodie tour across the buzzing metropolis. Here are the highlights: ➛ Absorb the commotion at old Tsukiji food market.
2 | I like to get off-the-beaten-path.
3 | I prefer small-sized groups.
4 | I travel for the foodie experiences.
5 | I like to explore one country in depth.
6 | I want memories with my family.
Regardless of size, almost every tour company can get you off-the-beatentrack. Whether that’s staying in remote Irish castles, or riding the bamboo train in Cambodia, it’s easy to have a refreshingly different experience.
For a personalised holiday experience, consider travelling with a smaller tour group which limits its numbers. Some have a max of 14 guests, others are 18. Either way, you get to enjoy tailor-made tours with an intimate group.
You might have to forgo the belt and give into culinary pleasantries. On a guided holiday you could visit a local agritourism farm in Dubrovnik, dine in the home of a Thai family, or learn the traditional techniques behind Scottish whisky. The foodie experiences are extensive.
One country, done in depth, is a popular option for Kiwis, and while there are multiple tours covering several countries, it’s just as easy to find one which really delves into a single culture, its cuisine and history.
Just imagine the kids’ smiles while water rafting in Croatia, or gelato tasting in Rome! Certain itineraries are created solely for families with choices broken down into categories such as active, wildlife and teenager. You will join forces with 3-5 likeminded families. ■
Let’s find the perfect holiday for you! Come in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz.
➛ Dine at a top sushi restaurant in Ginza. ➛ Peruse the fascinating food hall at Isetan department store. ➛ Gorge on the city’s best tempura in Shinjuku. ➛ Learn about the preparation of Japanese tea. Add this tasty tour to your Japanese agenda.
END NOTES / MY BEST TRAVEL STORY
Family canal boating in France. By TANYA AITKEN, House of Travel Papamoa E XPE RI ENC E.
No prior boat skills are required and you will be run through a basic lesson. The Captain’s Handbook provides tips on safety, navigation, locks and more. By TANYA AITKEN, House of Travel Papamoa
W I T H T WO S M A L L C H I L D R E N , travelling can have its low points. Driving is one of them! Children don’t tend to enjoy the restraints of cars. So what better way to be flexible, run to our own agenda and see the natural beauty of France than by canal boat? It was with trepidation that we collected our Locaboat: we had no boating experience, very basic French and Burgundy was unknown to us. But after a quick lesson, my husband found that the only way to learn was to give it a go…So off we went! I would however, recommend some pre-study. Just like driving, you need to know where you can “park”, what the signs mean, who gives way to who, and general courtesy rules. The locks — once you have a few under your belt — are a breeze, and great exercise in between the rosés! Stocked to the brim with beautiful French groceries, we spent days in idyllic spots where the picture-perfect views are absolute proof why so many great painters gained inspiration from these areas. We would spend the days either relaxing on-board and cruising along to
the next spot, or parking up for a look around. Cooking is one of my greatest pleasures, so being able to purchase fresh produce, whip up a stunning meal and devour it on deck, as the sun went down, doubled the enjoyment. The canal boat itself was wellequipped and became our own little sanctuary for the week. I would recommend taking one berth higher than you need for your luggage, some bikes and, if budget allows, book one with outdoor seating for al fresco dining. On many occasions, us parents would drive, and the children would hop on their bikes and cycle along the pathways. We’d meet friendly and interesting locals and their pets! We had lovely residents come and meet our boat and then take us to incredible wineries. We even found a Michelin restaurant a short stroll from dock, and awed at the oh-so-perfect French villages. Our French canal boating experience was one of the best family holidays we’ve had. Yes, we’d had concerns, but I would say, if you can motorhome around NZ, you canal boat around Europe. It was easy, super relaxing and we all got to see the real France. ■
SAFE TY. You travel at very slow speeds (between 8-10 miles an hour). Children are encouraged to wear life jackets on the open deck.
Discover the world with House of Travel.
WHE N TO GO. The best time to travel is between MaySeptember. We sailed in September and the days were beautifully balmy while the evenings were cool enough to sleep.
We strive to create the best holiday for you at the best value — that’s our service guarantee. We understand everyone has different travel needs and that’s why we love it when you bring your ideas to us because together, with our experience and local knowledge, we can create the perfect holiday at the perfect time for you. We use the same travel sites you do, like Expedia, and many more that you can’t access. Plus, we have direct relationships with airlines and hotels around the world, which gives us extra buying power. We combine this with our expertise and negotiating skills to deliver some of the best deals and bonuses on offer that you might miss if you booked yourself. So, we promise to truly deliver the best of both worlds and that’s our guarantee.
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We collected our boat from Locaboat’s small depot of Joigny, but there are many different canals you can experience (and start from) throughout the country. Boarding is between 2pm – 6pm.
We’ve helped create enriching travel experiences for 1.8 million New Zealanders over the last thirty years. We understand that it isn’t just the place you go, it’s where that place takes you.
Might float your boat? Come in-store, call 0800 713 715 or visit houseoftravel.co.nz.
WHY TRAVEL / REASON NO. 492
“Leave home, leave the country, leave the familiar. Only then can routine experience — buying bread, eating vegetables, even saying hello — become new all over again.”
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We’ve got your back with 24/7 CUSTOMER CARE while you travel.
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TH E B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .
The best holidays are created together. H O T. C O . N Z
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4 0 I N S P I R E | H OUSE O F TRAV E L
TH E B E ST H O L IDAYS ARE CREATED TOGETHER .